What Causes Trapped Wind in Chest?

Having trapped wind in your chest can be painful. Sometimes it can be so painful that people mistakenly think they’re having a heart attack.

If you’re suffering from this symptom, then it’s important to get seen by a doctor.

They can tell you the exact cause of your symptom as well as what you can do to get rid of it.

Trapped Air in Chest – Is It Dangerous?

trapped wind in chestNearly everyone suffers from trapped gas at some point in their life. In most cases, it can be relieved by burping.

When the gas can’t be released, pressure builds up inside the intestines. This can lead to abdominal cramping and chest pain.

Trapped gas isn’t life-threatening. While it can be annoying, and cause discomfort, it won’t kill you.

Below, we’re going to show you the most common causes of trapped wind in the chest.

Summary: Trapped gas usually isn’t life-threatening, but it can cause pain and discomfort.

Cause #1: Hernia

A hiatal hernia happens when part of the stomach pushes upward through the diaphragm muscle. This can trap gas in the stomach, leading to pain.

Many people with hiatal hernias don’t even know they have it since it’s often an asymptomatic condition.

Not only can hiatal hernias trap gas in the stomach, but they can also lead to GERD, or acid reflux.

What can you do if you have a hiatal hernia? One option is surgery, but this is only reserved for when the hernia is getting in the way of normal digestion.

Summary: If you’ve got trapped gas in your chest, then look at hiatal hernias as a possibility.  

Cause #2: You’ve Swallowed Too Much Air

Foods aren’t the only thing that can cause a buildup of gas in the digestive tract.

It’s possible that you’ve simply swallowed too much air with your meal.

This usually happens in people who eat or drink very quickly. Therefore, you should take your time eating and chew your food slowly.

Swallowing too much air can also occur when smoking or chewing gum.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get rid of: just belch up the excess air and your discomfort should go away.

Summary: Swallowing too much air can cause gas to build up in the stomach, leading to pain.

Cause #3: Anxiety

Believe it or not, anxiety can lead to trapped wind in chest.

When people have panic attacks and begin hyperventilating, they gulp down a lot of air.

As you learned from the previous section, a buildup of air in the digestive tract can lead to discomfort.

If you suffer from anxiety, it’s imperative that you get your symptoms under control.

Not only can anxiety lead to trapped gas, but it can also put you at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some effective ways to alleviate stress is to exercise daily, meditate, and laugh.

Summary: Anxiety can lead to trapped air in your chest by causing you to gulp down a lot of air.

Cause #4: Certain Foods

There are certain foods that can lead to trapped gas. These include:

  • Lentils
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Carbonated Drinks
  • Beer
  • Cauliflower

Anything with a lot of fiber can cause this symptom. It’s also possible for the trapped gas to be a result of a food allergy.

As the above foods get broken down in your stomach and intestines, gas forms.

When the amount of gas becomes too great, it begins to exert pressure against the organs of the digestive tract.

This is why a lot of people report having pain whenever they’ve got trapped air in their chest.

Since fiber is good for you, don’t cut it out completely. Instead, cut back until you no longer experience negative symptoms from eating it.

Summary: Some foods that can cause your symptom include cabbage, broccoli, lentils, and many others.

How to Get Rid of Trapped Gas

Gas pains can range from mild to extreme. Sometimes they’re so painful that people think they’re having a heart attack.

How can you get rid of the discomfort? Here are some solutions to try:

  • Go For a Walk: Once you’re finished eating, go for a walk. This will kickstart your digestive system and help the air move along swiftly. Make it a ritual to walk after heavy meals and you should have way less bloating and constipation.
  • Don’t Drink Soda: Contrary to popular belief, soda isn’t at getting rid of gas that’s trapped in your digestive tract. If anything, it will make your symptoms worse. Don’t drink anything carbonated (including beer).
  • Avoid Dairy: People who can’t break down lactose (the sugar in milk) very effectively will quickly build up gas in their digestive tract. Avoid milk, cheese, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, and anything else that contains dairy.
  • Stress Management: If your symptom is caused by anxiety, then you’ll need to do a better job at managing your stress. Some effective ways to do this is to get more exercise, get better sleep, and try meditation.

Some patients have reported that increasing their intake of fluids has helped get rid of their trapped air in chest.

Foods and/or herbs that have been shown to relieve gas pains include turmeric, mustard, cardamom, and cumin.

You can also try drinking apple cider vinegar (just a tablespoon). Finally, you can try ginger as it’s been used as a digestive remedy for thousands of years.

Summary: To get rid of gas pains, try going for a walk after eating, and make sure you avoid dairy and carbonated beverages.

Are You Gluten Intolerant?

If you’re having gas issues, then it’s possible that you have gluten intolerance.

People who are gluten intolerant shouldn’t eat anything that contains gluten. The only way to know for sure if you have it is to get tested.

In this condition, gluten (a protein found in many foods) damages the intestinal walls. It can lead to abdominal pain that doesn’t go away.

Summary: Get checked for gluten intolerance if you’re suffering from trapped gas each time that you eat.

Bottom Line

Having trapped gas in your chest can be painful. The pain can be distracting and prevent you from concentrating on other things.

The main causes include hiatal hernias, swallowing too much air, anxiety, and eating foods high in fiber.

Some ways to counteract this symptom are to walk after big meals, don’t consume carbonated beverages or dairy, and avoid stress.

Ask a Question: If you want to ask a medical doctor a question that hasn't been answered in one of our articles go to: Ask a Medical Doctor About your Symptoms

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